Watertown Firefighters, Police Taking Steps to Reduce Exposure to COVID-19, Need Supplies

Watertown firefighters and police officers have begun taking extra steps to protect themselves from the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and both departments have found it hard to keep supplies of equipment to protect them from the virus. Along with extra equipment, the Watertown Police and Fire departments have started using some new procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Fire Department may ask people to come out of their homes to reduce firefighters chances of getting COVID-19, said Watertown Fire Chief Bob Quinn. “On certain Medical calls we will have people exit the home if they have COVID-19 symptoms or are in an environment with a COVID-19 positive person,” Quinn said. “This also reduces the risk to the Firefighters responding to the call as lees people will have interaction with the patient.  All patients will get the proper required care but we will be operating differently to protect unnecessary exposure to our members.”

Police Log: Trio of Shoplifter Hit Mall Store, No Arrests

The following information was provided by the Watertown Police Department. There were no arrests this week. Incidents

March 11, 11: 57 a.m.: Security at Home Depot stopped a man who had eight items in a cart, but only scanned four. He left the store without paying for the items, which were worth $90.82. When security spoke with the man in the parking lot, they saw a hammer drill, valued at $699, in his car.

U.S. Attorney Warns Against Scams, Other Crimes Related to Coronavirus

U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling warned that District of Massachusetts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office will of Justice will aggressively pursue anyone committing scams and other crimes related to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Lelling sent out the following statement:

“As our communities take extraordinary measures to confront the coronavirus outbreak, some may view this as an opportunity to prey on the public’s fears and anxieties. The Department of Justice is now focused on cybercrime, sale of counterfeit goods, treatment scams and other healthcare and investment scams arising from the pandemic. My office will aggressively prosecute anyone engaged in this kind of activity,” said U.S. Attorney Lelling. “With the outbreak of COVID-19, scammers have found a platform that preys on people’s fears and could make them more likely to be victimized,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “We want you to avoid falling prey to these scams and help us stop them by reporting it at ic3.gov.”

Massachusetts residents who believe they are victims of fraud or other criminal activity related to the pandemic should contact the United States Attorney’s Office at USAMA.victimassistance@usdoj.gov or call 1-888-221-6023 and leave a message. Members of the public can also contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) by visiting www.IC3.gov. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please call 911.

Watertown Fire Department Closing Public Access to Fire Stations

The Watertown Fire Department has closed the town’s three fire stations in response to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). People can still contact the Fire Department with questions. The department added that it will temporarily stop accepting donations, such as food. The Watertown Fire Department sent out the following announcement:

Due to growing concerns over the spreading of the Coronavirus all Watertown fire stations will be closed to the public effective immediately. If you have a question about permits, inspections or other fire prevention functions please call the Fire Prevention Bureau at (617) 972-6510.

Watertown Police Asking Residents to Call First, Try to Avoid Coming into Station

In an effort to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Watertown Police Department requested that people to avoid coming into the lobby of the Police Station, except in an emergency. Police Chief Michael Lawn sent out the request to avoid coming into the Police Station, and urged people to call. The Watertown Police also changed their policy during this period for filing reports. They can now be taken over the phone. Lawn also noted that officers may ask questions about residents’ health when responding to their home or business.

Fire Department Cancels Ceremony for Fallen Watertown Firefighter

The sign erected in honor of fallen Watertown Firefighter Joseph Toscano at the corner of Merrifield Avenue and Bigelow Avenue in East Watertown. The Watertown Fire Department cancelled plans to honor Joseph Toscano on the third anniversary of the firefighter’s death due to concerns over the Coronavirus. “This decision has been made taking the orders of the Governor into consideration. We hope that everyone will keep him and his family in their thoughts and prayers at some point tomorrow,” said Watertown Fire Chief Bob Quinn. The Fire Department had planed three minutes of silence at 10:16 a.m Tuesday, followed by a salute to Toscano.

Police Log: Man Arrested for Indecent Exposure, Car Bought Online had Been Stolen

The following information was provided by the Watertown Police Department. Arrests

March 2, 7:11 p.m.: A driver went up on the curb on Nichols Avenue at Bigelow Avenue and when police arrived the woman behind the wheel appeared to be passed out. The vehicle was facing the wrong way, and the motor was running. Officers had to bang on the window to wake the driver. The woman admitted to drinking before driving, and police found five empty 50 ml bottles of Smirnoff pineapple vodka on the front passenger seat.